Claims of ownership of the railway line set-back in Osogbo is generating rows among some residents of the Osun State capital.

In some parts of Osogbo and communities along the rail line, many residents have erected make-shift structures as close as two metres from the rail line. 

This led to a protest by a group under the auspices of Osun Muslims Coalition for Justice.

The group in their numbers stormed the Oke-Onitea section of the railway line with placards with various inscriptions such as “Don’t allocate Muslim praying ground to Pastor Bukola Solomon”, “Muslims love peace but hate injustice” among others.

The spokesperson for the Muslim Coalition for Justice, Mr Quaseem Odedeji alleged that an official of the Nigeria Railway Corporation was collaborating with some people to convert a piece of land given to Muslims as a prayer ground for another person.

Mr Odedeji explained that the land, which is a set-back to the rail line was given to the Muslim community for use as an Eid prayer ground, but the same land had been allocated to one pastor by Mr Innocent Agbaji, an official of the NRC.

He urged the authority of the corporation to call Mr Agbaji to order to avert an unnecessary crisis, saying approval of permanent structure on Railway set back is illegal.

Radio Nigeria got through to Mr Agbaji, who is the Area Manager of Railway Property Management Company Limited in Osogbo described the allegation as false.

Mr Agbaji claimed that it was his predecessor, Mr Okon Dike who allocated the said set-back to one Mr Lateef Oriade and Mr Bukola Solomon and not to any mosque or church as they alleged.

The Area Manager added that the protesting group had at one time or the other reported the matter to various police authorities who had equally intervened, but rather than adhere to the rules of settlement, they are protesting.

Mr Agbaji said upon assumption of office, he had revoked the lands from all the parties to avert the breakdown of law and order.

A letter obtained by newsmen, signed by Mr Agbaji indicates the revocation of the said land from Mr Lateef Oriade on the grounds it has become a source of threat to the life of staff of the corporation and railway police station, while the terms of the agreement have equally been violated.

Adenitan Akinola


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